To Lee, or Not to Lee? 14 Alternate Lee Eponyms and Mascots for Robert E. Lee High School

The new Lee High School is set to open this fall. However, despite a brand-new sign alerting passersby that the nearly finished building is “Lee High School,” several members of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board and the community want to distance the school from its current eponym, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

According to WBRZ, a committee met Tuesday to come up with possible alternate monikers. With the help of some input from the public at the meeting, they came up with a few, many of which still included the name Lee.

A student suggested the late author Harper Lee “because of her activism, and what she stood for, and her opposition to racism and that nature.”

The school so nice, they named it twice.

Meanwhile, a panel member suggested the name Lee Magnet High School, insisting the name would be derived from the street the school is on. This option was seemingly popular with the committee given that, out of five proposed names displayed on a flip chart, it was listed twice, and one of those had four hash marks next to it.

Unfortunately, the street where the school resides (Lee Drive) also is named after Robert E. Lee, and — by the transitive power of eponyms— naming the school after the street effectively means naming the school after whomever the street is named for (Robert E. Lee).

But, hey, it’s not like any of these people are involved with educating our children.

Two nights later, when the issue was brought up at the school board meeting, Superintendent Warren Drake jumped in first with a motion to rename the school Lee Magnet High School. There was no mention of what specific Lee he was thinking of. No one seconded his motion.

Then board member Connie Bernard moved the name be Lee High School. As in what’s on the sign out front, I guess, because changing that would cost lots of money. Again, no mention if her Lee is Robert E.

Later, board member Vereta Lee (no relation to Robert E. Lee, as far as I know) said the board should’ve changed the name back when the school design was approved, adding she likes the name Southdowns High School.

She also said she had a dream a building would be named after her.

Ooh, I have an idea! Why don’t they name Lee High School after board member Veret…never mind.

Then the public had its chance to comment. One student who spoke said leaving it as Lee High School would make the official name confusing. Without a definitive, new, non-Confederate eponym agreed upon by the board, I agree with that statement.

Another student brought up Harper Lee. I’m not sure if it was the same student who offered Harper Lee two days earlier.

OK, I’m pretty sure it’s the same student.

Other members of the public who spoke did so passionately. Some were in favor of changing the name. One alum said he just wanted it to be Lee so the school would have a connection to him and other alumni.

Some saw no problem with a school named after Robert E. Lee, like a member of the class of 1976 who shed some light on the man the school is currently named in honor of.

Yes, because if Robert E. Lee is known for two things, it’s engineering and being a great American. He never, ever, EVER betrayed the American flag or did anything untoward to the republic it represents. Ever.

The insight of that alum’s comment was rivaled only by this one:

I got nothing for that.

Eventually, the board decided to kick the Robert E. Lee can down the road.

In the meantime, might I suggest a compromise?

Many people want to keep the name Lee in Lee High School. Some for sentimentality, some simply to avoid having to spend $300,000 to change the sign.

Others want to have a clean break from anything to do with Robert E. Lee. That’s totally understandable, as well.

So why not follow that one student’s lead and name the school for someone named Lee who has nothing to do with the general? And to reinforce the fact that the new Lee High School would be named for someone who has absolutely no connection to the Confederacy and the defense of institutionalized slavery, come up with a new mascot associated with that individual?

In the interest of finding an acceptable solution for this growingly contentious issue, I present 14 alternate Lee eponyms and mascots for Robert E. Lee High School:


HARPER LEE: The Scouts
I included that student’s suggestion because it’s a good one. And one might assume Harper Lee High would be the home of the Mockingbirds, but that would lend itself to taunts from rivals vowing to “kill the Mockingbirds.”

Peggy_LeePEGGY LEE: The Fever
If she’s good enough to receive a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, she’s good enough to have a high school named after her.

STAN LEE: The Marvels
Or it could be just the The Marvel — singular, like the cinematic universe.

tommy_leeTOMMY LEE: The Fighting Hep
Because he’s fighting hep(atitis). I don’t care what he and Pamela Anderson say.

BRUCE LEE: The Dragons
“The Bruce Lee Dragons will kick your ass!” The pep rally banners practically write themselves!

SPIKE LEE: The Mars Blackmons
They also could go with the Spike Lee High School Mookies.

ANG LEE: The Crouching Tigers
The only downside would be the occasional fight on the rooftop.

christopher_leeSIR CHRISTOPHER LEE: The Sarumen
I prefer the Fighting Scaramangas, but I know not everyone is a James Bond fan.

BRENDA LEE: The Dynamite
At 4’9″, her nickname is “Little Miss Dynamite.” Hopefully, al-Qaida and ISIS haven’t ruined an awesome mascot name.

gypsy-rose-lee-burlesqueGYPSY ROSE LEE: The Garters
I would’ve suggested The Pasties, but they hadn’t been invented yet when she was doing burlesque.

HARRY LEE: The Chins
That nickname is befitting a morbidly obese Chinese-American for more than one reason. Other possible mascots for a school named after the late, 375-pound, diabetic sheriff of Jefferson Parish include The Sugar, The Fighting Seagals, and The Race-baiters.

LEE MAJORS: The Bionic
I know it’s not his surname, but he’s The Six Million Dollar Man AND The Fall Guy! Come on! Lee Majors High School: home of The Bionic, where poppin’ ‘n’ lockin’ never go out of style!

LEE JEANS: The Dungarees

MARY LEE: The Crullers
Who doesn’t like Mary Lee? Seriously, if Baton Rouge can’t come together behind Mary Lee, there’s no hope for this town.

About Jeremy White

Jeremy White
Jeremy White is an engineer by education, but a smartass by birth. He managed to overcome the obstacles presented by his technical background, and has brilliantly devised a way to make a living making fun of people.

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